So you’ve got a site, you’ve published some content, and now you’re just…
… still waiting.
Is it time yet?
Are we on Google?
The good news is that yes, you are on Google. The bad news is that you’re 4 pages back in the search results.
Today I’m going to show you some easy steps on how to improve SEO and show up on the first page of Google.
How To Improve SEO
- Use keyword research to find long tail keywords
- Update your successful content
- Improve user experience
- Spread the word about your site with backlinks and social signals
Let’s get started.
Tactic #1: Use Keyword Research To Find Long Tail Keywords
Don’t feel bad if you’ve heard about keyword research but aren’t sure how to do it. Spencer has a whole guide on keyword research and I’m going to cover some of the basics here.
And just in case we aren’t on the same page, let me discuss for a second why keyword research is important.
Figuring out what people are searching for helps us to solve people’s needs. When we solve their needs, they visit our website and we start ranking in Google. This is a far cry from blogging about how you feel from day to day – no one cares about that except your mother.
Awesome content is one of the top ranking factors in the eyes of Google. Keyword research helps you to unleash the awesome content that’s waiting to be published.
Step 1: Find Your Keywords
Keyword research doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take some practice. The hardest part for me is thinking of seed keywords in the first place. You have to have something to put in to a keyword research tool to get suggestions… what should that be?
Let’s take this step by step. First, we’ll locate some seed keywords that we can use to get ideas. I like to start this process by looking at what my competition is writing about.
If you know your competition, you can go straight to their website. If you don’t know your competition, you can run a quick search.
We’ll say that in the fishing niche. I know I’m going to be writing about bait at some point, so I search “best fishing bait”. I see a bunch of big sites in the search results and those don’t help.
But further on down the page, I see one site that I don’t know. Let’s take a look.
I go into the site (I won’t reveal it for the owner’s sake). As soon as I go onto the first page, I see a list of recent posts on the sidebar:
Boom. There’s your seed keywords.
Replicating this process is easy: go to your competitor’s sites and see what they’re publishing. It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t even have to get any search traffic. It just has to give you ideas.
Now that I have some ideas, I’m going to open up Long Tail Pro (Long Tail Pro review) to do my keyword research. If you aren’t sure which keyword research tool is best, you can check out my post on best keyword research tools. I even included a bunch of free ones that are awesome.
Once I have Long Tail Pro open, I’m going to input some seed keywords. I got back about 800 keywords, which is more than I could ever write on.
And some of these keywords I don’t think I’d care to write about anyways:
So we have a bunch of keywords, now we have to find the best ones
Step 2: Filter For Long Tails
Whatever keyword research tool you use, you’re going to get some keywords that aren’t what you’re looking for. That’s not a problem at all and has easy fixes.
First, understand what kind of keyword you do want. I’m willing to bet that high competition, high search volume keywords aren’t going to be your cup of tea. These types of keywords are dominated by monster sites that us niche site builders can’t compete with.
And even worse, these high search volume, high competition keywords bring people looking for information, not people looking to buy. It’s never bad to give someone some info, but you’re leaving money on the table when you bring in searcher and not buyers.
It’s much easier and more profitable to target what’s called a long tail keyword. Long tail keywords are keywords with low search volume, but low competition. They are much easier to rank for and often target buyers.
Once you have your keywords, start filtering for long tails.
You can do this by setting the filters in your keyword research tool to only include words under a certain search volume (say 1000). I also like to make sure that all keywords I get back are at least 3 words, but that’s less important.
Long Tail Pro often doesn’t require any filtering since it’s awesome at returning long tail keywords.
Is that name making sense yet? 😉
I scrolled down to find some buyer intent keywords. Here’s what I got:
So we have our long tail keywords, but let’s go even more narrow. Let’s find the easiest of the easy and only target those.
Step 3: Filter For The Easiest Keywords
The purpose of this step is to target the keywords that you are most likely to rank for from day 1. This won’t be a big deal for larger sites (say Domain Authority 40-50+), but everyone else should be pretty choosy.
The easiest way to filter for difficulty is to use keyword difficulty scores. The problem you’ll realize after a few published articles is that keyword difficulty scores aren’t all that accurate.
Some of them are downright lies.
You can see the different scores for a few tools in my article on the best keyword research tools. But I’ll sum it up here:
In fact, Long Tail Pro and KWFinder are pretty well the 2 only tools where I even look at difficulty scores. They’re pretty good, are almost always similar, and I’m not afraid to use them. If you’r eusing either of these tools, then find all the scores under 25 or 30 and have at it.
But I prefer another method. You can do it in all keyword research tools to get your own keyword difficulty score. Here’s how it works in Ahrefs:
First, you use your seed keywords to get more keyword ideas and then filter for your long tails. Ignore the keyword difficulty score. You want to check the search engine results pages (SERPs). Ahrefs has an easy way of doing this:
As mentioned before, don’t worry too much about the keyword difficulty scores in Ahrefs. They’re a fine indicator of trends, but I don’t base my articles on them. Instead, you want to click the button to the right that says SERP. When you do, you’ll get a dropdown of the SERP results.
You’re looking for at least 2 websites with a domain rating under 30. If I can ever find 2, then that’s a keyword I’m not afraid to target.
You don’t have to be so strict if your website already has some authority. A good keyword for you might be a keyword with 2 websites under DR 35 or even 40.
Our DR at NichePursuits is a whopping 70, so we don’t worry too much about keyword difficulty at all.
Keyword Research Recap
- Use keyword research to improve your SEO
- Use seed keywords and competitors research to find keyword ideas
- Filter your results by long tails
- Filter your long tails by difficulty
Tactic #2: Update Your Successful Content
This is a tactic we use a lot at Niche Pursuits. It’s not an exaggeration to say that updating content is a full time job in itself.
But this is a tactic that has worked time and time again. The first time it worked was a few years ago when Spencer felt like some of his content was getting outdated. It wasn’t ranking, it wasn’t as relevant as it used to be.
So he updated it.
And the results were crazy.
These “old” posts started ranking again, some of them getting a boost that very week. He published his full story on updating content here. One of Spencer’s posts went up a whopping 712%.
All of those posts talk about the results we had, so I won’t beat that dead horse.
Instead of wasting your time, I’ll show you how we do it. It works like this:
Step 1: Find Your Older Content That’s Already Ranking
I don’t think that there’s a bad way of doing this. Spencer likes to pick posts that are already ranking, but are lower in the SERPs than we’d like.
But really, anything ranking less than #1 that doesn’t have the featured snippet is an opportunity.
A post ranking low on page 1 or high on page 2 is proof that Google already likes what you’re doing. Your content might just not be good enough to rank as high as we want it to.
Let’s change that.
Step 2: Use Google Search Console & Ahrefs To Find Your Keywords
After you know what posts you want to update, open up Google Search Console.
I have a bookmark set at the home page called Overview. From there you click Open Report. You can also go to the Performance tab.
Once you’re there, you’ll see a graph with some stats for your site above. Click on +NEW and then click on Page…
Input the URL of the page you’re going to be updating. Google will give you a list of all the terms that your URL is ranking for.
I recommend turning Position on, as this will show you where you’re at.
I input the URL https://www.nichepursuits.com/how-to-build-niche-website/. Our primary keyword is “how to build a niche website“. Here’s what Search Console looks like for that term:
The purple numbers show positions. As you can see above, we aren’t ranking as high as we could be.
I see that we’re ranking 3.3 and 3.6 for terms like “What is a niche website”. So I go back in my article and add sections about this. I could put this in headers, add it a few times in the content, and voila. Content improved.
I also use Ahrefs to do this. You can go to the Site Explorer and click on the Content Gap tool.
And then hold onto your pants, because this is about to get awesome.
Content Gap shows you what your competitors are ranking for that you aren’t ranking for. So you input the URL of the page you want to update, then input the URLs of competing pages:
Once you have your URL and competitor URLs in place, click Show Keywords.
If you don’t know who your competitors are, you can run a quick search on Google for your target keyword. Copy and paste competitor URLs into Content Gap.
And once you hit Show Keywords, you get a list of the keywords that your competitors rank for that you don’t rank for.
You don’t have to target all of these since some won’t be relevant. But you can target many of them.
You’re looking for keywords that are relevant to your content and easy to put in. Like these:
If I have a page about how to build a niche website, I can give examples and ideas no problem. It’s a natural fit.
You want to make these keywords stand out when you update content. Add them to headers, write a little extra.
And if there are a lot of things your competitors are ranking for that you aren’t, then add a lot of content.
One post I updated a while back went from about 2,000 words to over 6,000 words. We just hadn’t targeted enough content the first time around, so it had to be added.
Content Update Recap
- Updating content can have a huge benefit to your site
- Use Google Search Console and Ahrefs’s Content Gap tool to find keywords and topics
- Make these keywords and topics more apparent in your posts. If they aren’t in your post, add them
Tactic #3: Improve User Experience
I don’t want to sound like this strategy is 100% selfless; it isn’t. By improving user experience, you improve bounce rate, time on page, and sessions per user.
Google sees that your website is converting like mad and it ranks you high. Users spend more time on page and are more likely to click ads or buy products.
Improving user metrics can be the easiest win, but it’s so hard for many to get right.
Because everyone is selfish.
It’s tough for us to get in the minds of others and see what they want.
So to save you a lot of time, trouble, and stress, here are the easiest ways to make your site awesome for your users.
1. Make It Easy To Get Around Your Site
This falls a little bit under the realm of the silo structure. You want to make it easy for users to travel. Make it easy for them to get to your best and most recent blog posts. Help them find the pictures, videos, or podcasts they’re looking for.
The first step to doing this is to make sure that your headers are clear. There’s no one way to do this and your perfect headers will depend on you. For a niche site, you might have a header for each of your categories.
For an info site/blog like Niche Pursuits, it makes sense to have links to products Spencer has made, a “Start Here” option, and more. Your headers will depend on you.
One awesome way to make an easy-to-travel website is to add a search button to your header. We know that Niche Pursuits is a pretty big site (almost 700 pieces of content) and it’s not always easy to get around.
So we have a search button in our header:
Want to know if we have more content about keyword research tools? Or want to access one of the first projects Spencer ever started? How about hearing some coaching calls from Niche Site Project 3?
No worries. You can do it all.
A good header and footer are the first steps in an awesome user experience. You can build awesome headers and footers with Elementor (read my Elementor review here) or Astra (read my Astra review here)
2. Create Dynamic Content
Creating dynamic content starts when the viewer opens your post for the first time. And when most people open posts, what’s the first thing they see?
The featured image!
There are some super expensive places to get stock photos to use as your featured images.
I doubt that you need stock photos from those places.
You can get awesome stock photos for free from several sites, but Pexels is my favorite. You can also use Unsplash. Whichever one you use, you can save yourself some serious dough by avoiding the high-priced stock photo places.
Once you’re past the featured image, you want to make sure that your content keeps readers engaged. Here are a few writing tips from yours truly:
- Keep sentences short and punchy. Avoid fluff. if you can cut words out, you should do it.
- Keep paragraphs short. I tell my writers to keep all paragraphs to 2 sentences max. Most of them end up keeping paragraphs at 3 sentences max, which is about right. Don’t allow your paragraphs to be more than a few lines long.
- Add pictures in content.
- Suppress your inner funny guy or gal. If you aren’t funny in real life, I’d bet the farm that you aren’t that funny online. Bad jokes can fall flat, so keep the humor on the down low unless you know that you’re a ham.
- Break topics into headings and avoid rambling. if you aren’t sure how your writing sounds, read it out loud.
I think it’s a great idea to toss in a Youtube video where applicable. If someone starts watching this video, you’re getting a huge time-on-page boost. Everyone wins.
3. Help Your Reader Get To Related Content
The final part of boosting user experience is to make sure that your reader has the chance to go to other related content. We call this an internal link.
Internal links are when you link from your website to your website. I talked a bit about how these help your site in my article on how SEO works and once again in my post on the silo structure (those are internal links). Spencer talked about the massive boost Niche Pursuits got in his article on internal linking.
Spencer uses Link Whisper (a tool he created) to make internal linking much faster and easier.
So I’ll pass on explaining all how it can boost your site’s bounce rate, time on page, page views, sessions per user, and even organic traffic.
The biggest problem most people have with internal linking isn’t about whether it works. Everyone knows it works. But no one has an easy way of doing it.
Or rather, no one had an easy way.
Internal linking used to be a headache. You had to go into each post, find a post that could be mentioned, find a relevant anchor text, and then create the link. When you had to do that for more than a handful of posts, it became a huge hassle.
So people started creating internal linking plugins. And don’t get me wrong, these are pretty awesome. I even created a post reviewing the best internal linking plugins.
But I can save you a bit of reading. Link Whisper is my favorite internal linking plugin. It was created by my boss (and yes, he does pay me), but Spencer created this plugin to solve his own need. It uses AI to be smarter than any similar tool on the market.
Link Whisper analyzes your content and at the bottom of each post, recommends possible internal links. It looks like this:
You can see that not all the results are relevant. But the majority of them are. The AI here isn’t perfect, but it’s getting better and better. You can make some changes to the anchor text if you like.
Click the box, click Add Links, and that’s it. You’ve added links from one post to other posts.
If you want to add links from other posts to one post, you can do that too. Go to the WordPress dashboard, hover over Link Whisper, and click Report. You’ll come to a screen like this:
Using the highlighted column, you can add inbound internal links to any post that you select.
(you can see that some of those posts don’t have any inbound links. I guess you know what my job is after finishing this post)
Once you find a post that you want to add links to, you click Add and you come to a screen like this one:
Want To Build Smart & Relevant Internal Links...Quickly?
Link Whisper makes it simple to boost your site’s authority in the eyes of Google. You can use Link Whisper to:
- Bring out your orphaned content that isn’t ranking
- Create smart, relevant, and fast internal links
- Simple yet effective internal links reporting: what has lots of links and what pages need more links?
This makes it easy and fast to add some super-relevant internal links to your pages. The more chances your readers have to read related content, the more clicks they make.
This boosts your user metrics, helps bounce rate, improves time on page, and helps your readers.
Improve User Experience Recap
- Make it easy to travel around your site
- Create dynamic content
- Help your users find related content
- Adding internal links can solve a lot of your user experience problems
Tactic #4: Spread The Word With Backlinks and Social Signals
Google is a pretty smart cookie, but it’s not perfect. While the day draws nearer when Google will rely less on backlinks and more on their own metrics to rank websites, that day hasn’t come.
For all intents and purposes, one of Google’s top ranking factors is based on what others say about your site. It’s a voting system.
And the most common “votes” to garner are backlinks. We’ll discuss those second.
What might be the easiest votes to grab are social signals. Let’s discuss those first.
Master Social Media: Ignore The Fluff, Go For Low Hanging, Passive Fruit
I think that there’s a lot of time to waste by working on social media. Some things might work super well and others not at all, so I’m going to try and avoid the not-so-helpful stuff.
Facebook used to be the go-to social media for niche sites. But it’s a little bit pay-to-win now.
There might be some potential gains to be made from Instagram. And Twitter may have some potential (but I don’t think it does).
If you ask me, I think the most effective social media right now is Pinterest. It works by allowing you to “pin” an image. You can gain followers, they can “repin” your stuff and send it to their followers. You can create or join groups where people can access and share your pins.
The beauty of Pinterest is that once you have it up and running, it can be pretty passive. It runs without much involvement from you. You can continue to pin stuff and will do better if you do.
But you don’t have to. And some stuff can take a life of its own, getting pinned and repinned over and over by followers or group members.
So here’s how to do it. I’m going to skip the part where I show you how to sign up for Pinterest.
Pinterest Mastery #1: Fill Out Your Profile
Once you have your account set up, you want to fill it out so that you look authentic.
Step number one is to create boards for each of your keyword topics. If you’re a site about home decor, then you might have one board on furniture, one board on interior design, one board on kitchen design, etc.
A car site might have a board about DIY repairs, a board about paint jobs, and a board about interiors.
Your boards are set up and ready to go, so now it’s time to start following others and their boards.
Search one of your keywords in Pinterest. I searched for “Interior design”. And then set the filter to Boards or People. Like this:
And then start following some people. The goal here isn’t to get follows yourself, but to make your profile as real and authentic as possible.
Pinterest Mastery #2: Pin, Pin, Pin
Now it’s time to get to work. You’ve got your boards, you might have a couple of follows from other people.
(but it’s fine if you don’t)
I’m following in the footsteps of the great Jake Cain when I say that it’s best for you to pin a lot.
Like, 20 to 30 times per day.
This would be a nightmare to do on your own, so I suggest using Tailwind to automate it for you. It’s a very cool tool with a reasonable price for your marketing efforts. You can read our full Tailwind review here.
Stick to publishing only content that’s awesome and already has a ton of pins. You will not succeed on Pinterest if you pin subpar images. This includes other people’s images and your own.
Once you have your publishing machine up and running, it’s time to start bringing some traffic to your site.
Pinterest Master #3: Drive Traffic By Being Awesome
For each post on your website, you’ll want to make some kind of pin. This can be super easy to do by tossing a stock photo into Canva, resizing it for mobile, and pinning.
It’s a good idea to check what’s already doing awesome on Pinterest. If there are a lot of collages, make collages. If its memes, make memes. My niche site has a lot of plain Jane stock photos that are performing really well. That’s fine too.
Remember that the lower quality your pictures, the less pins and the less traffic you’ll receive. The goal here is to find the balance between standing out and publishing a lot.
I would say that for a regular post, don’t be afraid to toss in a stock photo. For a monster skyscraper or pillar post, make the pin excellent. You want a lot of traffic going there.
These inbound links from Pinterest give you repeat and growing traffic. But they also provide a social signal for Google. They look at you and think “Hey, this site has a bunch of pins that people are repinning and clicking. These guys and gals must be pretty awesome!”
A few repins might not be worth as much as backlinks, but it’s all a part of the game. It all contributes to social signals and votes. You’re telling Google that you’re not just cool enough to link to. You’re so cool that you’re getting people who love your stuff on social media.
Plus, you always have the possibility that a Pinterest user will see your pin, go to your site, and then link to you because you’re an awesome resource.
So now let’s talk about the big boy: backlinks.
Win Some Backlinks
I won’t say that getting backlinks will improve your SEO the most in every situation. I think that the content update provides faster growth in the short term.
But over the long run, I think that backlinks have the most consistent return on investment. There’s room for infinite scaling and when you pair backlinks with awesome content, Google has no choice but to love your stuff.
There are several tactics available to build backlinks. The most common ones you’ll hear about are guest posting, skyscraper, and blog comments.
In order, these are the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I think that blog comments are pretty much useless now. I think that guest posting is cool, but tough to maintain without good systems.
But let’s take a moment to talk about skyscraper link building (and why it’s the “bad”).
Skyscraper Link Building: The Bad
If you’ve ever learned about link building, you’ve heard about skyscraper. In essence, you create a piece of content that’s better than your competitors. You then outreach to everyone who has linked to your competitor’s article and ask them to link to you instead.
Allow me to be the first to tell you that skyscraper is dead for the small website owner.
I was very careful about how I constructed that statement. I’m not saying that no one can do skyscraper. There are people who have massive heights of success with it. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work. It does.
But the biggest problem with skyscraper is that it’s famous.
Everyone does it. Whoever you’re emailing has gotten that email before and I’d bet they got it in the exact same template that you used. Site owners see the skyscraper emails and they don’t see an opportunity to help you out. They see an opportunity to benefit for themselves.
When there’s nothing in it for the website owner, then there’s no reason for them to help you out. Sure, you might have a better resource than your competitor. But is it worth going in a post, deleting the old link, and adding your link just because you asked?
No. It’s not. Those website owners are deleting your emails and don’t feel the smallest bit bad about it.
Send out skyscraper emails and you’re going to be ignored. When you aren’t ignored, they’re going to ask for money, for backlinks, or for social shares. And you’re going to be asked for those things in that order.
But most of the time, site owners just want money.
Big sites can weather this storm. They can negotiate.
“I won’t pay for links, but I’ll share four of your articles on my three social media platforms to a total of 120,000 followers. “
“I can’t pay for a link, but I’ll sponsor your product for free to my email list of 50k.”
Or, since they’re a big site, they might just pay for the link. Google will never know, right?
Little sites don’t have the same resources as big sites. And even for big sites, the conversion rate for these types of campaigns is low. You’d be doing well to get even a handful of links for every 1000 prospects you emailed.
How I Built A Niche Site That Makes $2,985 Per Month
Want to start a niche site that can bring in $3,000 per month… or more? Here I discuss:
- The tools you’ll need
- How to start on a budget
- Best ways to generate an income fast
But if you’re a small site and still want to give skyscraper a go, you’ll need a few things:
- A system to find prospects at scale (you’ll need a lot – thousands if possible)
- Incredible content that’s better than the competition
- A great pitch
- Have a unique headline
- Make it clear what the site owner gets out of this
- Don’t use a template you found online
- Lots of persistence
For small sites, I don’t recommend skyscraper. You can get a better return on your time, money, and energy with other link building tactics.
Here are a couple of those.
Ego Bait Link Building
One cool way of building links is to make a type of list. If you’re in the interior design niche, you might make a list of the top 10 interior designers in a bit city like Atlanta or Seattle. If you run a website about wine, you might publish on the top 10 vineyards in each state.
But you don’t want to just pick anyone or any business. All of the people, places, or businesses on your list have to have 2 things:
- An active website
- A blog, a “Featured On” section, or an active social media account with lots of followers
A quick way to check for an active site is to see when the copyright date is on the footer. Inactive sites will often say last year or the year before. Don’t bother with these types of sites.
The site doesn’t have to be awesome or stunning, but knowing that it’s fresh means you have a better chance of getting a link. In similar manner, the blog, Featured On page, and social media don’t have to be amazing. But they do have to be present.
Without those things, you’re probably wasting your time.
Once you have your leads and you’ve built your awesome list/ego bait article, it’s time to email these prospects of yours. Don’t be afraid to tell the numbers 1-3 that they ranked super high on your list. For the lower numbers, you might just want to say something like “Hey, you made my top 10 list for the whole state!”
The goal with this email is to help the owners, businesses, or people to feel awesome. It’s a good idea to ask for a link, but it’s also a great idea to hold off and build a relationship. Since these people are influential, they are authorities in the eyes of Google.
You might be able to work something out where you get a guest post from them (an expert), an interview, or a feature on social media. This could be so much bigger than one link!
Whatever these influencers have to say about the link, don’t be afraid to ask for a guest post. Links from the same source do return diminishing value, but guest posting is a great way to continue with the relationship.
Guest posting can also be a way to negotiate if they don’t want to link to your list. If they aren’t interested in linking to your resource, how about some free content?
It’s also important to follow up. I remember one time I was running an email campaign (for a skyscraper post, of all things).
I had an email series that went out to prospects. It was 7 emails long. And my 7th email got me almost as many links as my 1st email. So after receiving 7 emails from me, people were still saying “Oh yeah, I’ve got to link to that guy.”
Now I think that 7 might be a bit much, but you get the picture. The fortune is in the follow up, so don’t be afraid to touch base a couple of times. Try to keep these follow ups short and packed with value.
Now that we’ve discussed ego baiting, let’s talk about guest posting.
Oh, the good old bread and butter of link building. This can be used in pretty much every niche to varying degrees of effectiveness. The easiest way to find guest post prospects is to use a special search query in Google. Something like this:
[keyword] intitle: write for us
[keyword] intitle: write
[keyword] intitle: contribute
[keyword] “guest post by”
Here’s what I got when I typed in “protein intitle: write for us”
Look at all of those opportunities. But I’d bet my bottom dollar that every one of these sites gets flooded with guest post requests. For my guest post queries, I like to use [keyword] “guest post by”. This gives domains with a smaller domain authority, but they are much more willing to accept pitches.
I doubt you’ve ever heard of Protein Pow. But they’re a sweet domain authority 50 site. Landing a guest post there would be a super helpful for your site. I used my Ahrefs bar to check the domain authority of all the sites on page 1. Some are low (NerdFitness is 2), but the average is in the 40-50 range.
The beauty of this query is that you can be certain all of these websites accepted guest posts in the past. I doubt they’re being pitched all the time since they’re smaller, but in this case the size works in our favor. You won’t get as much link juice per link as you would from a domain 70 site, but you are much more likely to get links.
And in the end, the medium-sized link you do get is a lot stronger than the big one you don’t.
But how do I come up with enough content for all these guest posts? And if it’s good enough to put on their site, wouldn’t I just be better to put it on my site instead?
Good thinking. And no worries, there’s an easy way to come up with tons of guest post topics.
When you’re outreaching for guest posts, you’ll notice that everyone says the same thing: No duplicate content, no plagiarism. And they don’t care if it’s your own writing that you’re duplicating. They don’t want it.
Google only ranks one version of duplicate content, so I can relate to their concerns. But as guest posters, it puts us in a weird position. We have to come up with new topics for every single guest post? How in the world can we do that at scale?
Fear not, my little niche site builder. I wouldn’t ask you the question if I didn’t know the answer. Yes, you do need a new topic for every single guest post. But this scales a lot easier than you would think. Here’s how to find new topics with ease.
First, I recommend opening a Google Sheet. Column A is going to be Guest Post Ideas. Column B will be Completed. Column C will be Guest Post Location.
It’s super simple, but you can take mine if you want. Click File ==> Make A Copy
.All of your guest post ideas are going to go here. When you find an idea, you put it in the Guest Post Ideas. When you turn the guest post in, change the topic from column A to column B. When the guest post is published, put the url in column C.
To find ideas for your guest posts, you’re going to want to find skyscraper articles that are already published. These articles always have multiple thousand words, often in the 3k+ range. Good skyscrapers are broken into subtopics. You are going to use each of these subtopics for a guest post idea.
Let’s say you hate yourself and are in the health niche. To get some guest post ideas, you can search “eating healthy”. I clicked on the first few results in Google.
And ideas are everywhere.
Everywhere you see a red box is somewhere that you could take an idea from. I only took ideas from one of the pages in Google because it loaded first. Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like now:
And all of that took about 3 minutes. The longest part was typing the ideas in.
In the span of minutes, I have 12 guest post ideas. And as said before, this was only using the first page of search results and the first page that loaded on Google. I didn’t search multiple pages and only grabbed a fraction of the ideas possible in the page that I opened.
When you get a guest post published, don’t forget to move the topic to the Completed section. You don’t have to link to it in the Guest Post Location section, but I like to see where my articles are at 😉
It’ll look like this:
You can make this spreadsheet a bit more complex if you’re using a mass email tool with merge fields. But I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. If you don’t know what a mass email tool or a merge field is, no worries. When you’re at the point where you’re making a significant chunk of change from your site, you can worry about it then.
Even without fancy tools, this method is tried and true. Finding prospects and content isn’t as hard as you’ve been led to believe. People just aren’t quite creative enough sometimes.
So let’s move on to our final link building topic: HARO link building.
HARO LINK BUILDING
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. If you are on their email list, you get requests from journalists who want sources. The goal is to find a request that looks like something relevant to your site. Answer the journalist’s questions, include a link to your site, and hope that it gets published.
It’s not a surefire way to get inbound links and you may fill out dozens of requests before being listed as a source. But these links are from reputable news organizations with monster domain authorities. To give you an idea, here are the domain authorities of some of the news organizations that get sources from HARO.
|New York Times||Fox News||The Globe And Mail||Wall Street Journal||Mashable|
|Domain Authority (Ahrefs)||92||94||91||91||93||92|
Imagine the impact that a domain authority 90+ link would have on your site. And unlike skyscraper links, your competitors can never take a link from a news organization away from you. This link is stuck on your site until the end of time.
HARO link building makes a ton of sense no matter what niche you’re in. Here’s how to do it well.
Every day you’re going to be getting 3 emails in whatever niches you select. This is awesome for some niches (finance, travel, tech, etc). It’s not so awesome for other niches (like if you blog about ants). But it will never hurt to glance through the emails and you might find some that are perfect for you.
Some things you should do:
- Explain Who You Are: You don’t have to give a life story, but let reporters know who you are and why you’re worth quoting. Let the reporter know what they’re going to get from interviewing you. Something simple like “My name is Brady and I run a small internet business,” is perfect.
- Be Different: It’s not a bad idea to go against the grain of common wisdom. If you’re writing about traveling, explain how Colombia and Nicaragua are safer than most travelers believe. If you’re writing about interior design, explain how the current trends are changing to X or Y.
- Be Unique: As with any outreach, a canned response is a bad idea. Tailor your emails to each request. It will take you longer, but you are a hundred times more apt to get a mention.
- Be Consistent: This doesn’t take too long and you may go a while without seeing results. But can you imagine the power your brand will have after being mentioned on CNN? You can put that all over your site. Plus, you get a super powerful link. Don’t be afraid to keep trying and devoting a few minutes to HARO emails every day.
Improving SEO Every Day
It’s not super easy to improve SEO. It is an event, not a process. But a commitment to consistent improvement is what separates the successful sites from those that turn into a money and time black hole.
So don’t be afraid to keep trying.
Was this article helpful? If so, let me know in the comments below. Also, what are you doing to improve your SEO?